the host of accounts two deserve mention and elaboration. According to one
version, the presiding Deity-Jagannath was once called Neelamadhava and, he was
the son of Vudayana - a Pandian King. He was extremely fond of the aborigines of
the place and became one with them following their ways of life and living. He
endeared himself to them to such a degree of inimitable intimacy and compassion
that they treated him as their God and guide, when he was alive. On his demise,
they made an idol of him and started worshipping. This is the reason for the 'Sabaras' enjoying certain rights in matters of administration and performance
of rituals to the main deities even to day.
story goes further that this enchanting idol was carried away by force to Malwa
by Mahapadma Nanda. Later, Kharavela, the King of Kalinga invaded the place and
on defeating him, brought it back and installed it with all fanfare. In the
ninth century, Yayata Kesari constructed an imposing shrine here. Finding it
ruined, Anantha vanna Chodaganga started rebuilding it in the twelfth century.
The present shape and size are given by his grand son, Anangabhima Deva, who
spent the entire state revenue collected over 12 years. This account appears to
be a blend of history and legend. Religion seldom escapes from this.